Israel’s security cabinet will meet for an emergency meeting on Sunday, hours after reports of an “enemy” airstrikes that killed 18 Iranians in Syria.

Netanyahu and the IDF chief of staff

Netanyahu and the IDF chief of staff Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

The Israeli security cabinet will convene for an emergency meeting today at 1:30 PM following the recent missile strikes in Syria. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who is returning from New York, will not be attending the meeting.

It is still unclear why the unscheduled meeting was called. According to assessments, the senior ministers will likely discuss the rising tensions along Israel’s border, the alleged Israeli attack in Syria and the Iranian nuclear deal.

The official Syrian TV channel reported a series of attacks across the country last night (Sunday). Syrian regime officials and the Iranian military confirmed that among the targets was a base utilized by the Iranian forces in Syria. According to an Iranian news outlet, 18 Iranians were killed in the attack on the base.

The base, which is in the southern Hama region, was used by the 47th Brigade, and according to reports, it housed Iranian and Hezbollah forces. In addition, large stockpiles of weapons were stored there. The other targets include a firehouse in the north-western part of Hama and a site in the Aleppo area. The Syrian military has confirmed the report and stated that “enemy” missiles attacked military bases in Hama and Aleppo.

According to Israel’s Hadashot news, the US has denied that it was involved in the attack. The report stated that US officials said that the attack was not carried out by American or US-led coalition forces.

The Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper, which is affiliated with the Assad regime and Hezbollah, has reported that Syria is accusing Israel of carrying out the attack. Israel has not commented on the attack or the reports about the allegations of Israeli involvement.

Hours before the alleged Israeli attack, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Tel Aviv. During the meeting, Netanyahu and Pompeo agreed that Iran is a threat. Netanyahu said that Iran’s possession of nuclear arms posed the greatest threat globally. “We are committed to stopping Iran together,” he added.

The US secretary reiterated Trump’s displeasure with the Iran nuclear deal that the US is “deeply concerned” about Iran’s aggression and that the Trump administration is committed to preventing Tehran’s ambitions to dominate the Middle East.  “A strong cooperation with strong allies like you is critical to countering Iran’s destabilizing and malign ambitions,” Pompeo said, adding that the US “was with Israel in this fight” and that “we strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself.”